The proposed merger of Grainfarmers and Centaur Grain has moved closer to getting the official go-ahead after shareholders of both companies voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal.

It now just requires High Court approval (expected in mid-November).

The new business, called Openfield, will become the UK’s leading farmer-controlled grain marketing and input supply business, working with over 7000 farmers and handling about 4m tonnes of grain, equivalent to 20% of the UK market.

Centaur chairman, Richard Beldam, was “delighted” by the positive reaction of customers. “Early discussions confirm that they appreciate that they will benefit from the scale, transparency and reliability of our brand offering,” he said.

“We will be working with all parties over the coming months to develop partnerships, contracts and operational approaches that more efficiently meet the needs and expectations of the complete grain chain.”

Mr Beldam also confirmed that the Office of Fair Trading had cleared the merger.